As some of you know, I recently purchased my first bike, the Shadow Spirit 750. Of course, I haven't been on the boards a whole lot as I've been out pounding out the miles. So, I've had it for about 3 weeks, and I'm almost at 1,000 miles already.
1) I haven't ridden for more than 15 years, but I was confident that I could hop on this thing and go. I'm about 5' 11", 175 pounds... of which probably 40 pounds of that is fat. (well... probably a little less). Point is, i'm not a real muscular guy, and I could easily handle this bike almost immediately. Sure, I killed it a few times within a 5 day period, but thats about it. This bike is easy to ride, and light weight enough that most beginners can handle.
2) Affordability - The price tag for this bike, clocked in at about $6800 (er... close, can't remember exact amount). After adding the sales tax, licensing (handled by the dealer which was nice), windshield, and passenger backrest, total dollar amount came to around $7500. To me, thats pretty darn good for a quality, brand spanking new, cruiser, with common accessories. It literally had 'one' mile on the OD when I pulled off the lot.
3) Power - Around town driving, this thing has more gusto than a person needs. Acceleration is quick, and like I said, this bike is easy to handle. But when I purchased this bike, the main reason was to save money on gas, as I take a 15 minute commute to work every day. Highway love is a must. At higher speeds (interstate speed here is 75), the bike doesn't have a whole lot of acceleration power. However, when I'm driving 75, and the car in front of me is going 72, the power that this bike gives you for passing is 'comfortable'. By that I mean, you're not completely dogging it trying to get by and fighting the wind, but you're not exactly ramping up to 85 mph in a heart beat either. Thus..... I would have to say that I would want NOTHING LESS than a 750 to make highway driving comfortable. Maybe a 750 in another brand of cruiser delivers something different.... someone would have to verify that.
4) Looks - This bike looks damn good. I got the black one with the custom gray flames, and even some old Harley fans have given me compliments on the looks. It 'looks' big, but it's light hearted. It's impressive enough to take anywhere.... and yes, lots of people asking for a ride.
1) The seat is pretty stiff. After riding for an hour, maybe a little less, your butt starts feeling a bit uncomfortable. But given the large curve angle of the seat, it looks like it was designed for someone with more fat on their "O Ring" than me. hahahah Anyways, it would make the ride a lot nicer if there was just an inch more cushion or something.
2) Tranny - I've talked to the dealer about this, and he made it sound like 'It's just the way it is'. Every once-in-a-while, i'll get stuck in Neutral. No matter how much you try, it won't kick down or up. To remedy this, I was told to let out the clutch and pull back in, then try to switch gears. This seems to work, however.... it's not something that should be present. Maybe someone here would be able to tell me how to fix/adjust this. It doesn't happen very often, but it's embarrassing to sit at a red light, then try to go.... making cars sit behind you wondering what the heck you're doing. It's NEVER cause problems while driving per say, only every so often, and when stationary. Furthermore, I've had this happen only ONE time when I was in first gear, and trying to get into neutral to park it. Again, popping the clutch (a little
, in this case) fixed the issue. I was told by the dealer that the prongs (dogs?) on the gears occasionally line up with each other, instead of sliding inside themselves. I can see this happening, however.... it's seems like it's something that should NEVER happen. For god sakes, how long have we been making transmissions for? On the plus side tho, it's never affected my driving.
3) Fuel reserve - Since this bike doesn't come stock with a fuel gauge, I've managed to run out of gas at least 3 or 4 times now. I'm getting better at guessing when I need gas, but when you commute every day, it's just going to happen at some point. The downside is the location, and by that I mean it's on the LEFT side. Maybe this is normal, I don't know as this is my first bike. But to me, if I'm driving down the highway, and the bike starts cutting out from having no fuel, it would make sense to have it on the RIGHT side. Why? This way, when going faster speeds, I can just pull in the clutch and coast. Then, with my right hand, simply make the switch, and try to start again. If it starts soon enough, I would only have to maybe switch down a gear.... maybe two, and just keep going. But with this kind of set up, I'm FORCED to pull over. I have to figure out how to get into neutral on a dead engine, quick enough. On a lighter note, maybe this is just good old fashion safety engineering. Perhaps it's not wise to be messing around with that stuff when riding..... but it would seem more logical than suddenly pulling over, with cars behind you, at higher speeds, with a gravel infested pull-off lane.
4) Trim - At first glance, this bike has a heck of a lot of chrome. After some time though, I'm realizing that there is a portion that really isn't chrome.... just chrome-painted plastic. For instance, there is a chrome looking piece that surrounds the speedometer. After some time with the bike, I realized that this was actually plastic. Also, the turn signal cups are plastic. And I haven't really gotten down and dirty to figure everything out yet, but I'm wondering "Just how much of this is plain plastic". Is this normal? Anyways, the bike still looks good, however , I'm worried about cracks. Plastic can break, and since we can never expect EVERYTHING that can happen, my gut tells me, at some point in time, a plastic piece is going to get cracked because ________ (fill in the blank). It's going to stick out like a sore thumb. Maybe this is how the get the price just right. Maybe other bikes are exactly the same. Either way..... it's not very comforting.
That about all I have for now I guess. Gotta change the oil soon, so we'll see how that go's. Hope that helps some people out there.....